Yoga with Adriene’s founder won YouTube with her message of self-love — and self-deprecating humor

Adriene Mishler isn't the only star of Yoga with Adriene. Her fans love her sidekick, Benji the blue heeler, almost as much as they love downward dog.
Image: yoga with adriene/Mashable composite

Adriene Mishler exudes plenty of mushy-gushy spiritual thinking, but the yoga evangelist embraces something else, too: self-deprecating humor.

That’s part of what has made her so accessible to her 3.2 million YouTube subscribers. When she mentions self-love or chakras, she bookends it with “Okayyyy, Adriene,” or when she directs you to sit in a cross-armed-cross-legged pretzel of a pose as you lift your head, she mumbles, “This is like Ariel on the rock, speaking to my generation, a little mermaid joke.” 

It’s why her fans call her goofy and authentic, an overused cliche in the YouTube world, but they really mean it. They insist! There’s just something about Adriene. 

If you’re already rolling your eyes, take a deep, cleansing breath. It’s worth trying to wrap your head around why this particular woman has the top six videos when you search “yoga” on YouTube and dominates Google search.

Adriene has been hosting free yoga videos on Yoga with Adriene since 2012.

Image: Yoga with Adriene

At the moment, Adriene is taking mental notes about Peru. When the 33-year-old tells me she rearranged her schedule to take adult Spanish classes so she can teach yoga when she visits Spanish-speaking countries, I mention one of her fans in Peru already translates her videos into Spanish. A Peace Corps volunteer there leads about 25 students, ages 5 to 84, in an hour-long flow, Monday through Friday.

“Wow, I just got the chills,” Adriene says.

You see, one of Adriene’s other fans from the Netherlands, who followed her yoga classes on a European tour like a Deadhead, recently quit her job as a vice principal and moved to Peru, where she founded a nonprofit teaching yoga to underserved children, with Yoga with Adriene’s motto, “Find What Feels Good,” at the core. It’s called Con Pazion, and Adriene’s sponsor, Adidas, donated $10,000 to the budding organization on her behalf. Yoga with Adriene fans have also donated, with some now sitting on Con Pazion’s board.

“It’s all starting to fall into place somehow,” Adriene says. 

Leonie van Iersel, the Yoga with Adriene fan who founded Con Pazion (center), and her students.

Image: COn Pazion

Although her mother is Mexican-American, Adriene never learned Spanish as a child. She jokes that she probably knows more Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language used in yoga practice, than Spanish. When she was in high school, she took American Sign Language instead because she had deaf friends. 

While she’s excited to learn, it means she has to give up something she’s done for a decade, even after her meteoric YouTube rise: teach yoga, IRL, on Saturday mornings. 

For yoga instructors, a Saturday morning studio slot means you’ve made it. And moving on fills her with bittersweet nostalgia. 

“I used to joke that the only people who would come to my classes are my friends and my mom, and of course I would never let any of them pay.”

“Yoga with Adriene” was the most googled workout in 2015. She won a 2016 Streamy Award in the Health and Wellness category, and in January of this year Google searches for “Yoga with Adriene” reached an all-time high — spiking by 40 percent since November 2017. 

But she didn’t start out intending to be an internet sensation. When she was 19, she’d sub, teach kids’ classes, and lug around a jam box and burnt CDs all over her hometown of Austin — anything to teach yoga.

“I used to joke that the only people who would come to my classes are my friends and my mom, and of course I would never let any of them pay, and then I’d end up paying rent at the studio where I was teaching and not making any money,” she said. 

She wouldn’t disclose her YouTube revenue, but according to analytics firm SocialBlade, Yoga with Adriene pulls in anywhere from $3,000 to $45,000 a month. (It’s a big range, but YouTube estimates are often like that due to complicated ad schemes.) That doesn’t include intake from her subscription video service, Adidas sponsorship, events, or merchandise. She’s currently writing a book about her relationship with yoga and planning her own yoga teacher training program.

Yoga with Adriene encourages viewers to “find what feels good.”

Image: Yoga with Adriene

Back when Adriene was losing money on her yoga classes, she taught children drama and acted on the side. It was on an indie movie set where she met Chris Sharpe, the film’s director, who’d later become her business partner and the Greg to her Dharma.  The movie was about a girl band in a post-apocalyptic world. At first Adriene passed on it — she had auditioned for Juilliard, she had trained in New York, she wanted to do theater — but was convinced when she heard her friend was part of the cast. That friend later married Sharpe and now has her own YouTube cooking channel. 

“It never got finished and I do thank god for that because we had quite the get-ups,” Adriene says, giggling.

After the movie fell apart, Chris emailed Adriene in 2010, pitching a yoga YouTube channel. But the idea just sat there, gestating for two years until the duo made Yoga with Adriene’s first video. The actor in Adriene wanted to nail every moment, but Chris encouraged her to relax and act like Mr. Rogers inviting people into her home. After that, it clicked. 

All Adriene wanted to do was provide free at-home yoga for the masses when most classes cost between $15 and $20. It took her awhile to warm up to the social media circus and SEO-focused video titles. Her library of under 30-minute videos is diverse, to say the least: There’s yoga for mornings, bedtime, teachers, depression, golfers, disasters, a broken heart. You name it, she’s probably got it. And her blue heeler, Benji, is often seen lounging around, sometimes snuggling up on the mat as she maneuvers around him.

“I was nervous to take yoga out of its sacred space and slapdash it into this digital space,” says Adriene. “That’s why it took forever for me to title any video ‘Yoga for weight loss’ or ‘Yoga for flow.’”

But it’s titles like those that likely pushed her to the top of Google and YouTube search.  

“It’s very savvy how she structured it,” said Allon Caidar, a YouTube metadata expert and founder and CEO of TVPage, a video commerce platform. Adriene focuses on keywords and has more than one video about highly-searched topics, he points out. Despite multiple high-profile YouTuber scandals (ahem Pewdiepie, ahem Logan Paul), Caidar predicts that marketing budgets focused on influencers like Adriene, especially in the lifestyle and health sectors, will grow this year.

Adriene jokes that one April Fools’ Day she wants to upload the same video with two titles: one focused on self-love and another on weight loss to test which gets more views. 

“Just to kind of prove a point,” she says. “With the titles, I’m using the platform to bring more people to the mat.”

Yaiza Varona, a 39-year-old in the UK, found Adriene because of her high ranking. She was browsing for a yoga video on YouTube, clicked the first one, and now she’s a Yoga with Adriene disciple. 

“If she said paint yourself blue, I’d do it. At this moment, I trust whatever she says because it feels so right,” the music composer says. “I’m not that much into yoga as a philosophy, but she brings it down to Earth. She focuses so much on enjoying being in your body.”

Megan-Eileen Waldrep, the Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, says it may sound silly, but to her, Adriene feels like a friend. 

“She makes jokes or weird references and then says under her breath, ‘I don’t know why I said that,’ which is hilarious. It’s an unedited flow of her stream of consciousness and yoga,” the 25-year-old from Chicago says.

There are critics who deride Adriene for being “that YouTube yogi,” though. 

“They’re judging a book by its cover, and they don’t understand that I’ve poured my whole little heart and soul into trying to be mindful of how I share this information,” she says. 

Adriene is used to pouring her heart and soul into things. She’s been doing it since she was a kid. Over Christmas, she was laughing with her dad about how she spent hours as a child recording her own theater and dance shows on VHS. Decades later, she’s still filming her own productions, only now she has a core staff of four.

Adriene’s been in some indie movies, she plays a journalist in Rooster Teeth’s Day 5, and has voiced characters like Lois Lane and Supergirl for DC Universe Online. She’ll keep acting even as she expands her yoga business, she says. It’s a dream she can’t shake.

You may see her at an event with hundreds of people doing yoga in a cavernous room — she uses a special mic because she had two vocal cord surgeries due to a benign tumor — but you’ll also still get a free video on YouTube every week. And if you watch those videos, you’ll be in on the joke when the floor creaks beneath your feet, just like Adriene’s does at home.

“I would love for us to look back and go, ‘Remember when yoga was this thing you went to at the gym, and now it’s like brushing your teeth, washing your vegetables, taking a shower, something that you do in your home regularly,'” she says. “We’re not far from that. I’d like to look back and know that I did my part to trailblaze that offering.”

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Teens aren’t slowing down on the Tide Pod challenge, according to the latest horrifying numbers

Image: mashable/lili sams

Brace yourselves: there has been an embarrassing uptick in the number of teens eating Tide Pods.

With a “HIGH ALERT,” the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) shared an urgent press release on the current state of Tide Pod consumption in the United States. 

“Last week, AAPCC reported that during the first two weeks of 2018, the country’s poison control centers handled thirty-nine intentional exposures cases among thirteen to nineteen year olds,” the report read. 

That number didn’t last long, however.  “That number has increased to eighty-six such intentional cases among the same age demographic during the first three weeks of 2018.”


“We cannot stress enough how dangerous this is to the health of individuals—it can lead to seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death,” Stephen Kaminski, AAPCC’s CEO and Executive Director, wrote. 

Once again, this is not a joke. Do not eat the Tide pods

This increase comes on the heels of massive efforts from Proctor & Gamble, the producer of Tide Pods, to slow the roll of this horrible trend. They’ve partnered with YouTube to remove videos of kids eating Tide Pods, and Amazon has removed those commenting online about how delicious the forbidden fruit is. Additionally, P&G released a statement to warn consumers and hired New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski to spread the word. 

If you still feel the urge to eat one, or know someone who is going through an unfortunate Tide Pod phase themselves, take a note from AAPCC’s statement and call Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text Poison to 797979. 

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A man’s story about mental illness was cut from live TV because of the royal engagement and Brits are furious

When the news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had got engaged, the nation could scarcely contain its excitement. And, for much of the day, our television screens were plastered with shots and footage of the happy couple.

But, for one man who travelled from Edinburgh, Scotland, to London to talk about his depression and suicide attempt on TV, the day did not turn out to be as joyous. Brian Wilkie’s scheduled appearance on ITV’s This Morning was cut from the show to make way for the royal wedding news. And, many people have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment that this man’s story wasn’t heard. 

Last week, Ellie Wilkie tweeted a photo of her and her dad Brian with some words about his experience of living with mental illness. 

“This year began with my dad mentally suffering depression and suicide attempt. Today he ends the year starting his new career in becoming a recovery support worker,” she wrote. 

“Words can’t describe how proud we are,” she added. “It’s okay not to be okay.” 

Her tweet went viral, and led to them both being invited to appear on ITV’s This Morning show to tell their story. 

But, due to the royal engagement news, their segment was cut from the show’s schedule. 

“Due to breaking news our story was cut off live TV,” Ellie wrote. “The royal wedding will go ahead however mental health issues will always remain. Until next time Dad.”

Ellie’s tweet gained a great deal of attention online, with many people stating their disappointment that the segment was cut.

Some felt that given the princes’ extensive campaigning on mental health, the royals would have wanted the segment to go ahead. 

Many criticised This Morning for its decision to prioritise the engagement news. 

ITV did not immediately respond to Mashable‘s request for comment. 

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New York Post says boobs are trendy again but, like, when were they not?

The New York Post is getting royally dragged after it tweeted an article declaring “boobs are back,” leaving women everywhere rolling their eyes collectively.

The article, which was originally published by The Sun said “bountiful boobs” are back in style, welcoming the “return of the out-and-proud cleavage”.

“A big-boob movement is happening, and we should embrace it,” read the article. “An uplifted chest means an uplifted mood, after all.” Wow, who knew that all this time boobs weren’t trendy?

Thankfully, the women of Twitter were on hand to proffer their thoughts on the purported new trend.

Anyone got any spare boobs lying around?

Some women were just really thankful they can finally put their boobs back on.

For those of us with “bountiful” breasts, it’s been a difficult time. Thankfully, it’s all behind us now.

Maybe this new trend needs its own anthem. How about a new version of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town?”

One smartypants had a very salient point to make about boobs being “back”.

Phew, thank goodness they’re back.

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The gift that keeps on giving: Give dad the subscription box of his dreams

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

So its the Friday before Fathers Day and youre currently gift-less.

Dont freak out.

Drop the gift idea and go for a subscription box. From geeky boxes to monthly bagel subscriptions, this list is sure to have something your dad will love.

See, youre not lazy. Youre showing dad how much you love him every single month.

Nothing better than a NY bagel

Image: Bagel of the Month Club

This ones for the dad who cant live without the taste of a real New York bagel. From plain, poppy, cinnamon raisin, and more, half a dozen of these bagels are the perfect gift. Get it here for $24.95 per month.

Satisfy the workout fiend

Image: Strength Crate

Its the perfect gift for your athletic dad. Collect an assortment of fitness equipment, supplements, and apparel to motivate his training. Get it here for $59.95 a month.

Cheers to beers

Image: craft beer club

The never-ending gift of beer sounds pretty sweet for dad. Twelve exceptionally crafted beers per month, with four different styles. Get it here for $42 per shipment.

Lead a gentleman lifestyle

Image: Gentleman’s Box

Help dad transform from a regular dad to an established gentleman. From pocket squares to patterned socks, this savvy box has it all. Get it here for $25 per month.

For all the meat eaters out there

Image: carnivore club

Give your dad the gift of cured meats delivered straight to his door courtesy of Carnivore Club. Artisan meats like chorizo, jerky, and charcuterie arrive monthly in a faux-wood box. Get it here for $50 a month.

Foreeeeee the golfer dad

Image: Swinger Box

Is dad always on the course? Get him a Swinger subscription that comes with premium apparel, golf balls of your choice, glove, tees, and more. Get it here for $25 a month.

If your dad is a geek

Image: my geek box

Handpicked by geeks, made for geeks. Give dad the gift of limited edition t-shirts and the ultimate nerd collectibles from My Geek Box. Get it here for $19.99 per month.

A passion for pop culture

Image: Loot Crate

Let dad dive deep into the obsession of his choice with a Loot Crate subscription. Harry Potter and Stranger Things are just two of the choices. Get it here for $15.99 per month.

Classy men drink wine

Each month has one red and one white for the best dad out there. You cant go wrong with wine straight to your door. Get it here for $23.96 per month.

Health-nut dad

Image: GRAZE

Choose your dads preference and get a handpicked box of snacks. Give him some new treats all year round with more than 100 healthy options. Get it here for $13.99 per box.

Man grooming get an upgrade

Image: birchbox

Keep your professional dad covered. Hell receive four top-shelf grooming samples and a surprise gadget or accessory in each box to help him look his best. Get it here for $20 per month.

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